Locks, and How to Open Them : OCAU's Locksport Thread

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by BlueRaven, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    Pick Order.JPG

    A search reveals that all previous "hey do you pick locks" threads are long-dead (nice to see that I'm following in the footsteps of an OCAU legend though...)
    Since I've just placed the order, I thought I'd start a new "Official Lock Stuff" thread for some useful chitchat while waiting for me bits'n'pieces to arrive. Any and all newb advice gratefully accepted.


    The Rules:
    1. Don't try to open a lock that you do not own by any unlawful means.

    2. Don't try to open a lock that is in use/service except as a last resort.
    3. If you choose to bend the first two rules, any consequences are on your own head.
    4. Don't be a dick.

    • Yes, we all know that "nothing is really secure". This thread is about the tools and techniques that may be used to compromise mechanical locks, and related subjects.
    • Discussions about bricks through windows, guns/gun-related stuff and other "physical security" topics don't belong here, except where they are directly related e.g. picking gun locks.
    • Don't post pics of keys/locks that are in service; lock type, bitting (key/lock/pin coding) and other relevant information can often be easily determined from such photos.
    • Some members may be happy to assist with a specific lockpicking challenge if contacted via PM; please ask for help/advice in the thread first though.
    Legal Stuff:
    If your post is a hypothetical question along the lines of "would it be really illegal for me to try and do x to y lock that's kinda sorta mine but actually kinda really not, actually..?"...
    I can probably save you some effort; see Rule 1, and remember that the definitions of "own" and "unlawful" are very clearly defined in the eyes of the Judiciary by this point in time, all over the world.
    The answer to your hypothetical question is almost certainly "Yes, that is definitely really illegal".
    Note that in at least 96.37% of hypothetical cases, this will hold true for both mechanical and electronic systems.
    Ultimately, use your commonsense. If you don't have any commonsense, you should try to get some or you're probably going to have a pretty bad time.

    Further information regarding the legalities of owning and using lockpicking tools can be found in the thread and elsewhere online (see Useful Links below) but to summarise:
    In most jurisdictions worldwide, to be found guilty of an offence due to carrying lockpicking tools you must also be found guilty of intent to commit an offence by using those tools in an unlawful manner.
    In practice, this generally works the same way as for someone carrying a crowbar, a hammer, or an angle grinder.
    However, please note that I Am Not A Lawyer. (Link possibly NSFW)


    If you manage to get yourself in legal trouble by misusing any of the information presented here, that is not my (or OCAU's) problem.
    You should engage the services of an Actual Lawyer post-haste.

    In contrast to the above: if you manage to get yourself in any kind of NON-LEGAL trouble by misusing any of the information presented here, feel free to tell us all about it. :)

    EDIT 3/12/18 - A few further notes regarding the practice of "Everyday Carry" (EDC):

    • Some locksport enthusiasts like to carry variations of portable/discreet/compact "everyday carry" picking tools for practical/educational/entertainment purposes.
    • Others prefer not to do this, due to any negative connotation that such tools might carry in "official" or high-security situations;
      e.g. air travel or any other moment which might involve a procedurally necessary search of one's personal belongings.
    • This personal choice is left up to the reader.
    • OCAU's owner and its members participating in this thread bear no responsibility for any consequences arising out of such a personal choice, under any circumstances. See Rule 4. :)

    Now go and have fun picking some locks!

    Useful links:
    Lockwiki: http://lockwiki.com/index.php/Main_Page
    The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers Worldwide: https://toool.nl/Toool.org
    The Lockpicking Lawyer: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm9K6rby98W8JigLoZOh6FQ
    bosnianbill (Locklab): https://www.youtube.com/user/bosnianbill
    Deviant Ollam: https://www.youtube.com/user/DeviantOllam
    Schuyler Towne: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBDpLXSbLHkPVocZgMuBTMw

    Online retail sources of Lockpicking supplies:
    (no guarantees made as to quality/availability/fitness for purpose, do your own research)
    Banggood query {"lockpicking tool"} - free shipping: https://www.banggood.com/search/lockpicking-tool.html
    ebay query {"training lock"}: https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw="training+lock"&_sacat=0
    PickPals - Aussie based locksmith/locksport shop: https://www.pickpals.com.au
    Thanks caspian .
    Another top-notch link dump/quick personal verdict from caspian, thanks again mate.

    LPL's reviews of 2 popular entry-level Banggood tool sets:
    (I bought this same tension wrench set plus a slightly more upmarket version of the pick set)



    Bosnianbill's Basics:



    LPL's deep thoughts on correct use of tension when picking different kinds of locks:


    "Mastering Master Keys" by Deviant Ollam:


    Generally Fun, Interesting & Related Links to be added to over time (suggestions welcome):
    Deviant Ollam's Wild West Con '17 talk which started me down this whole path


    My reaction vid where I'm stunned at being able to slip a latch in 5 seconds with zero practice


    https://www.youtube.com/user/DEFCONConference
    https://www.youtube.com/user/BlackHatOfficialYT
    https://www.youtube.com/user/ChRiStIaAn008

    The Eleventh HOPE 2016 (con playlist):




    Julian Illett does it too (when Banggood sends him free shit):
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  2. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    Full review and basic tutorial video:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    OP begins: Reserved for a review of the kit that I've ordered, which may or may not actually ever eventuate. I'm terrible at completing projects.

    But this lockpicking thing hits all the right buttons re. precision engineering/manufacturing and making some entertaining use of the Fingerspitzengef├╝hl (German, lit.:"finger tips feeling") which I've developed over many years of working with fiddly and annoying wires and assorted electromological devicenicks. Can't wait to start practicing on stuff... we'll see how long it takes before frustration sets in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  3. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Can we note a few rules.

    1. Keep it legal, only pick locks you own/have owners permission,
    2. don't pick locks you rely on (getting a pick stuck in your front door is annoying)
    3. no retarded comments, on why not use a brick/dynamite etc. yes there's usually easier ways to break in to something, but that's not locksport now is it.


    myself I've been playing for a few years now,

    currently working on a Bilock NG core (up to about 7 of 12 pins I think).
    http://lockwiki.com/index.php/BiLock_NG

    Also have an ASSA Twin V-10 core to do as well (first lock with sliders, I think I'll remove the 6 pins, so can play with just the sliders first).
    http://lockwiki.com/index.php/ASSA_Twin_V-10


    Can pick many 'regular' locks (Lockwoods, Schlages etc.) included when improved with security pins. Can impress friends with Master locks almost falling open. (hint don't buy a Master branded anything)

    Want to get some dimple cores in the future, as I haven't had one yet, tossing up whether to but some of the chinese cheapies on eBay, or if they'll be no challenge and thus a waste of $.
     
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  4. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    Noted, and thanks for the reminder. Added to OP.
    Feel free to toss me any old cores that you're bored with... I have a cartload of 3-4 gen old computer gear and watercooling stuff if you're interested in trading... :lol:

    Funny thing about Master locks... I kinda sorta knew they were shit, even before I got into this.
    Seen enough of them fall apart while "securing" building sites...

    How much am I looking at for something like an Assa V10 core, out of interest (knowing that I won't be needing one for a good long time, but interested to know the cost).
    We're talking several hundred dollars each at this level, yes?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  5. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    What a coincidence, this is something I'm literally just getting into. Only just ordered some stuff a few days ago, should've made a thread asked here what I should buy to get started but didn't think of it.
     
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  6. iMomOx3

    iMomOx3 Member

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    Interesting thread.

    So the stuff in the banggood order list is a good kit to start with?

    I have no experience what so ever but be a fun little thing on the side to try and just pick some basic locks.
     
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  7. FuzwaldQO

    FuzwaldQO Member

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    Interesting, have always wondered if this sort of thing was as easy as the movies make out. Might have to grab one of those kits and give it a go.
     
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  8. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    with sufficient skill and crappy enough lock (i.e. most of them) yes, often you can do it FASTER than the movies portray.
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    To be honest you could probably just start with the 12-piece + practice lock set from the LockpickingLawyer review that I posted in the OP. It was about 14 bucks iirc.
    The picks are not as fancy looking and probably not as nice to hold and use, but according to LPL they are sturdy enough.
    Two points that he does note - the finish on the actual blades of the 12-piece set is pretty poor, and each of the picks needs a rub with sandpaper to break the edges and smooth them out before you get started.
    Otherwise you're likely to jam your pick or damage a lock.
    Point 2 is that the included tension tools are not very good, they're pretty flimsy and springy which is exactly what you don't want in a tension wrench that's supposed to provide good feedback while you're trying to set pins.
    They're probably okay for picking the included acrylic padlock and similar entry-level locks, but not much else.

    All that being said, when I logged on to banggood they had the 24-piece "deluxe" kit on a 25% off sale (until 23 or 24 November if I recall) so it was only $4 more.
    And I'd just finished watching the LPL's review and related video about tension tools and tensioning technique... $12.13 for 14 tension tools is not going to break the bank, even I decide the hobby isn't for me. :)

    The only thing that slightly concerns me is that the blades of the fancy set have a gold/brassy finish in the photos... I imagine that they won't last very long if they're actually made from cheap brass.
    But I think it's probably safe to assume that they're just mutton-dressed-as-lamb i.e. plated steel. The several hundred "Recommended" reviews would seem to confirm this (at least a few of them must be genuine, right?).

    Like yourself, I'm treating this as a bit of casual fun for now, but also with the knowledge that it might just come in handy some day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  10. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    Do we want to keep this as a mechanical-locksport-only thread, or do we open it up to digital whizbangs too?
    I'm inclined towards the latter to encourage participation, but also concerned that the thread might become just one more place where we talk about general blackhat geek shit, rather than locks/lockpicking specifically.

    Thoughts / Impressions / Shut the fuck up, who cares? , all welcome.
     
  11. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    I'll vote (respectfully) "shut the fuck up" messing with electronics/software too close to the day job to interest me any. they can have their own thread if needed.
     
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  12. caspian

    caspian Member

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  13. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    Combination locks?
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    Fair enough. If anyone feels like posting "hacking digital locks" thread though, I'd be all over that.

    Legend, I'll stick 'em up. Thanks. Also pinched "mechanical manipulation of locks" as a nice descriptor. :)

    Sure, anything mechanical.

    But to draw a line in the sand, as an example off the top of my head... (not aimed at you personally PsydFX)
    Sticking a car jack into a doorframe, chocked up with fourbetwos, and giving it to the frame until the door opens is also not what we're about here. You're attacking the door, not the lock.

    But attacks like shimming, bypassing, heat attacks, impact attacks, pressure attacks, vibration attacks, everything short of grabbing a grinder or battering ram and just cutting/smashing the damn thing open is all fair game.
    And (rather obviously)... extra points are awarded if the bloody thing still works after you're done pretending to be James Bond.

    I hope this kinda sorta helps. :)

    EDIT: There will always be a bit of a grey area here though. Search youtube for "lockpickinglawyer ramset gun" if you don't know what I mean.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  15. NanoDuke

    NanoDuke Member

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    I can't remember if it was Tooool, or the LP101 forums, but they had rule #2 more simply as "Don't pick a lock that is in use/service".

    Wait until you start making your own picks ;) You'll never look at a street sweeper machine the same way again, and always be scanning the gutters at intersections for pristine bristles.

    I used to EDC a DIY hook/rake combo pick and a wrench in my wallet for years, made out of a bristle. Had them wrapped in heatshrink for grip.
    One day I forgot I had them with me when I was boarding a flight :( had to turf them in the bin before going through security.

    Check eBay for bulk lots of "antique" locks. I built up a collection of assorted locks pretty quickly this way.
     
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  16. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Member

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    10/10 (OP updated)

    "..EDC a DIY hook/rake combo pick and a wrench in my wallet for years.."

    We need to have a talk.

    edit: gonna stop liking every goddamn post, too much effort lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  17. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    I'm keen to see what people come up with. I have always had a fascination with breaking combination locks, which stemmed from fucking with people during high school where I would take great pleasure finding two people with the same bicycle lock, swapping them, and the lurking around until the last two people in the bike rack would finally work out that they had each other's locks.
     
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  18. NanoDuke

    NanoDuke Member

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    Do you all know about the infamous bic biro bike U-lock method?

    BlueRaven, if I remember tomorrow I'll take some photos of my collection. I have a set of DIY picks made out of hacksaw blades, too.
    Basically anything that's spring steel is a good start.
     
  19. Alby1976

    Alby1976 Member

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    MMmmmmm, though about doing this a couple of years ago, when assclowns on site would lose their keys, so you would have to bust up the lock, even though keys are supposed to be left in vehicles for safety reasons.
     
  20. caspian

    caspian Member

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    no intention to be argumentative, but for me that showed a method of destroying a lock, not picking it. Bill has done a number of videos of them being destroyed through other methods like angle grinders and bolt cutters. they're perfectly valid methods in terms of assessing the security potential of the device, but that's a tangential subject to lock picking.

    I like the idea that it still has to work afterwards. for me, lockpicking is about defeating a lock without having the key or combination beforehand. that includes bypassing, shimming, kinetic attacks etc. if the mechanism has been operated to the open position without damage, that's a gentleman's win.
     
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